Social media is a valuable marketing asset to build up and maintain. Not only is social media free publicity and brand awareness, but also a great opportunity to build up your customer base. Starting your social media accounts can feel overwhelming as a busy business owner, and it’s difficult to know where to start. Here are 7 steps to building your social media accounts from scratch.
Have you ever visited a profile and not found what you’re looking for? If you have, then you know the frustration of an incomplete profile or business page. Many business owners start a profile or page and forget to fill out or update the information. While this may seem like a no-brainer, incomplete profiles are more common than you might think.
Take a look at your profile and make sure it’s completely filled out—from your contact information to your mission to your hours of operation–these bits of information are an important step in building your social media accounts. The more sections you complete, the fewer questions customers will have, leading them straight to your business or website rather than shopping around for other options. Filling out your profile completely will also help your business show up higher in search results, drive more customers to your website, and give people a reason to follow you.
In order to maintain a professional online presence, selecting who to follow carefully is key. Unless your business is directly related, we recommend steering clear of political pages and questionable accounts. It’s best to use your personal account to follow these types of pages and keep your business pages professional. Instead, follow organizations relevant to your business, such as small business associations, local nonprofits, and other related businesses with a similar target demographic. Avoid following direct competitors—instead, monitor their social activity on the free Perch by ThriveHive app, available on iOS and Android.
There’s nothing worse than having a stale account, so engage with your audience! In order to promote a strong organic following on social media, you must engage with your audience on a regular basis, especially those that support you frequently. Be sure to thank commenters, answer all questions on social media promptly, whether it be in a comment or via direct message, and “like” tagged photos, when appropriate. Staying connected with your audience is key to creating an engaged following and gathering user-generated content.
The key to building your social media account from scratch is by creating content that catches the eye of an individual that may be browsing through hashtags or their feed. Your first few updates are especially important to curating a profile that attracts customers. Make sure these initial posts define your features, offerings, and industry, your mission, vision, and values, and your methods of contact. Your content should include vivid and high-quality images, clever or informational captions, and all related to your business. These posts will help to attract the customer demographic your business is seeking.
As your account begins to grow, you may find yourself overwhelmed by the obligation of frequent posting. Don’t panic! This is where resharing and repurposing content comes into play. Resharing content is beneficial in two ways—one, it flatters your users by letting them know their post was appreciated, and two, it helps to curate content for your page that isn’t time-consuming. Content that you reshare can either be a post about you or your business, or can include relevant topics that your demographic would be interested in. Repurposing content can also save you lots of time. By finding ways to repurpose the content you’ve already created, you will save time, gain followers, and increase engagement. Regular posting is key to developing a dedicated social media following.
Even if your photos are incredible and your captions are perfect, your content stands no chance of being seen if you aren’t utilizing the best hashtags for your market. Look at the hashtags your competitors and influencers in your industry are using and be sure to record in a note in your phone every time you see a new one. This should be a work in progress that you add to regularly. You can also search by hashtag—for example, if you operate a spa, search under #spa or #salon and make a note of the hashtags the top posts are using. Posts that succeed will often use accurate and niche hashtags to guarantee their post receives optimal reach.
Do you have hundreds of followers on Facebook, but only 20 or 30 on Twitter? Use the audience you’ve already accumulated to your advantage! Ask your followers to connect with your under-followed social accounts so as to harness the power of both social accounts. Look for opportunities to link your social accounts as well, such as sharing an Instagram photo to Twitter or Pinterest.
Starting your social account from scratch may seem like a daunting task, but with these 7 easy tips, you’ll have the ball rolling in no time.